Did you enjoy learning from behind a desk at school? Educators are starting to realise that sitting children down and forcing them to learn is not always the most effective way of inspiring young people. These are the best examples of schools that give their children unique and practical experiences.
Egalia pre-school – Stockholm, Sweden
This bold school in Sweden has become famous for rejecting gender based pronouns. For example, teachers avoid using terms such as him and her and use genderless pronouns instead like ‘hen’.
It asks its pupils to judge others based on actions rather than stereotypes. The school discourages material that presents traditional gender roles and gives children free choice of toys. The staff are passionate about social justice and are helping to root out prejudice.
Hartsholme Academy – Lincoln, United Kingdom
The Hartsholme Academy has received acclaim for their immersive learning style. They have turned classrooms into an American café and WW2 living room. Remarkably, they have won an award after turning around an unsatisfactory rating from Ofsted. They realised that sitting pupils behind desks wasn’t the most effective ways to teach.
AltSchool – Sillicon Valley, United States
The first AltSchool opened in 2013, creating a personalised learning experience where technology plays a fundamental role. Children turn everyday objects into circuit boards and learn 3D modelling to build playhouses. Unique technology platforms are used to make education as innovative as possible.
Steve Jobs School – Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Each child at the Steve Jobs School has their own Individual Learning Plan. They study at their own pace, with their Plan evaluated and adjusted every six weeks by their coaches (consciously not named teachers).
All students receive iPads, which allows them to use apps to design their own education. It can be a challenging environment, with students presenting their projects to a group from a young age.
Brightworks School – San Francisco, United States
Brightworks describes itself as ‘an extraordinary school’. Their school motto is that ‘Everything is interesting’ and they let their children fulfil that by exploring and experimenting with the world around them. Students can get dirty, play with fire, take apart home appliances and expand their horizons in a warehouse filled with art, forts and makeshift theatres.
Carpe Diem School – Ohio, United States
This unusual school shares similar traits to others on this list, with a personalised learning experience with coaches rather than teachers. However, it is also unusual because it is built like an office. There are 300 cubicles in The Learning Centre where students can learn independently and get guidance from the staff.